Monday, January 11, 2010
Perusing the JetPens website for pens I really don't need, I came across the Platinum Preppy line of fountain pens. I was intrigued by their low cost (only $3 each!) and the variety of colors available. Since one of my goals this year is to use a variety of pen/ink combinations in my Quo Vadis Habana journal, I figured this would be a good purchase.
(Okay, for the sake of full disclosure, I bought several pens and a bottle of Noodler's Ink, but those are stories for another post.)
My package arrived quickly and soon I was holding my new Platinum Preppy pen in hand. It is constructed of clear plastic (40% recycled materials) with a translucent green cap/clip and green stainless steel medium nib. A prominent "05" on the end of the cap identifies the medium nib. The pen is also available with a 0.3 fine point nib. It came with a single cartridge of green ink which I quickly plugged in.
The pen primed quickly and I was pleasantly surprised by the flow of the ink. I usually prefer fine and extra fine nibs but the medium nib on the preppy provided a nice, even flow without being overly-heavy. I did find that it takes a bit of pressure to provide an even flow - more so than with other inexpensive pens - but it was not difficult in finding that happy point where the ink flowed and the pen glided without scratching. The green ink was a nice surprise - just a tad less brilliant than emerald, but a very pleasing shade nonetheless. I hope you can make it out in my less than stellar Blackberry phone picture above.
The Preppy is about the same size as a Lamy Safari, though not of the same quality build. Still, it compares favorably to the Safari (one of my favorite pens), though it lacks a converter option. (UPDATE: Cheryl at Writer's Bloc informed me that a converter for the Preppy is, in fact, available. You can order one from Writer's Bloc here.) Comparing price points, though, the Preppy is a great value. I rate it above a Pilot Varsity disposable in terms of writing quality. It is similar to the Pilot Plumix in terms of price, writing quality and construction, though with more traditional lines and a clip. Perhaps someone creative could come up with a hack to make an eyedropper pen from a Preppy. Any takers?
I really can't find much to criticize about the Preppy. Sure, the clip seems kind of flimsy and it's definitely a light-weight, but again - it's only $3! I paid more for the converter for my Safari!
With seven color options and two nib choices, The Platinum Preppy is a great choice for a starter fountain pen. For that matter, with a $3 price tag and the fun color choices, it's a great economy pen for anyone who likes to write. Refills are available (2 cartridges for $1.50). A converter will run you about $6.
Posted by John Johnston at 2:23 PM